Kelowna hip-hop artist makes waves on the West Coast

Cameron James is celebrating the recent release of his second single, Voodoo. He is pictured in downtown Kelowna, his hometown. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Cameron James is celebrating the recent release of his second single, Voodoo. He is pictured in downtown Kelowna, his hometown. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Jordan Powers (left) and Cameron James (right) pictured downtown Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan - Kelowna Capital News)Jordan Powers (left) and Cameron James (right) pictured downtown Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan - Kelowna Capital News)

Two up-and-coming Kelowna artists are proof that West Coast talent doesn’t stop in Vancouver.

Artist Cameron Ambrosio, who goes by Cameron James, and filmmaker Jordan Powers are making waves in the local arts community with the recent release of James’ second single, Voodoo.

Growing up in Kelowna, they have seen the underground music scene in Kelowna grow into a collaborative, thriving network of young artists.

James, 22, and Powers, 25, are at the forefront of this scene, which they say is more collaborative than competitive.

“There are so many talented people here in Kelowna…It seems like everyone is super supportive of each other. Cam can get access from five different dudes for beats, I can call on six different camera guys to come help for a music video…it’s a good spot to be in right now,” said Powers.

“That’s another way of putting Kelowna on the map, you’re going to get places by helping each other,” added James.

Jordan Powers (left) and Cameron Ambrosio (right) pictured downtown Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan – Kelowna Capital News)

The music video for Voodoo, features the familiar sight-lines of Kelowna’s Knox Mountain and the Mission area waterfront.

Since its release on Instagram and Youtube (warning: explicit content) a few days ago, the new single has been watched several thousand times.

Simplicity was their goal during the filming of the song, which took just 30 minutes to write and three hours to film.

James has been sitting on this tune since last year when he wrote it and is happy to finally pair it with a video.

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The song features a message about pushing forward and pursuing your dreams.

“I love to push that you can do whatever you want to do. Especially where we’re at, me personally, I’m born and raised in Kelowna, I just turned 22 years old, and it’s kind of my time,” said James.

“If I want and try and do something that I love for a career, it’s right now and just trying to get that across to people, that you dictate your future.”

He says the recent release of this song has re-lit his creative fire, as James is excited about what the future will bring.

Creativity has always surrounded the two young artists, ever since they were in high school together at Okanagan Mission Secondary.

When James was 18, he was involved in the creation of rap group Rare Breed, which Powers helped film.

Even four years ago, James said the young music scene in Kelowna hadn’t really taken off yet.

But now, he said he’s starting to see young musicians pop up left and right.

However, he said being a musician in 2020 is very multifaceted, and requires perseverance.

“If you’re going to do this, it’s more than just making the music. It’s promoting yourself, and your stuff, and using outlets…not just Instagram, Youtube and Twitter, now it could be TikTok or something else like that,” James said.

Both artists hope to continue seeing more artists break out into the light.

“It’s only going to help, right. That’s just going to put Kelowna and the West Coast, on the map, even for people in Vancouver,” James said.

“When you think West Coast, you’re going to think Vancouver, and for everyone in Vancouver to know where Kelowna is, and know that there’s actual talent (here), that’s huge.”

The music video for James’ next single release, Halloween, is set to drop Oct. 31. Listen to Voodoo through the link below (warning: explicit content).

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Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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